On April 17, 2016, in Santa María Zotoltepec, Puebla, the main results of the human rights impact assessment (HRIA) were presented. It was conducted by the Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER), Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC), and the Centro de Estudios de Desarrollo Rural (CESDER), who since September 2014 have accompanied the Unión de Ejidos y Comunidades in Defense of their Territory, Water and Atcolhua Life as well as the inhabitants of Ixtacamaxtitlán, Puebla.
The HRIA identifies, measures and, being ex ante, helps prevent negative impacts in human rights provoked by the Ixtaca mining project. To achieve its objective, the HRIA measures the discrepancy between two commitments made by the state and the effective possibility of individuals, groups, and communities to enjoy those rights. The HRIA combines the identification of the main concerns of the communities, the main rights that could be affected (water, health, healthy environment), and the community’s knowledge and effective use of its territory with technical knowledge (biology, geology, human rights, corporate research) that allowed us to scientifically assess documents in which Almaden Minerals informed its investors of the project as well as freedom of information requests submitted to the Mexican government.
The evaluation allowed to identify a series of negative effects that the exploration project, should it proceed as currently proposed, could have on the water, health, and the environment.
The process was led by the community, which is why the information shared and assessed by the inhabitants of Ixtacamaxtitlán on April 17 constitutes the final step to produce the report. The next step will be to share it with all interested parties (the company, governmental institutions, affected communities) for their analysis and comments.